2015 CHILDREN'S BILL OF RIGHTS
Numerous organizations throughout the world have issued their own Bill of Rights for Kids, this is mine. There are only five, but if they were given to each child, think what the world might look like.
Kids Bill of Rights
1. The right to be loved
Every child, regardless of who they are or what age they are, has an innate right to be loved. Defined as an "intense feeling of deep affection", kids yearn for love. It is a deeply rooted desire born not only in kids, but in all of us. Mother Teresa said, "The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread." Given her statement, and the plight of children all over the world, the simplest way that I can see for easing a child's pain is to love him or her.
2. The right to food
Each year, 2.6 million kids die as a direct result of not having enough food to eat. 2.6 million! Some kids go days without a meal. Most of us would not know what to do if we had to go longer than 8 hours without putting food in our bellies. MarketWatch estimates that 40 percent of the food bought by consumers in the U.S. is thrown away, yet 1 in 5 kids in America go to bed hungry every night. None of this makes sense. What can we do to help? Donate to your local foodbank! And, if you are better off than most, donate to a national organization such as Feeding America , or an international one like Stop Hunger Now .
3. The right to clean water
When I talk about clean water, I am not only talking about drinking water. Clean water is needed for cooking, for cleaning, for sanitation, and for bathing. According to WaterAid.org, "Over 500,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation." if you want to help, check out The Water Project.
4. The right to safe shelter
1.3 million children in American public schools are homeless according to the Department of Education. Many of these kids live in shelters, but a far greater number live on the street, in a car, or in an abandoned building. I hate to think what the number is worldwide. How can a child grow to her or his potential without a place to call their own that is safe and warm? Yes, we all hear stories about homeless kids who go to college and become successful. However, that is the exception not the norm. In reality, 13 kids die on American streets every day. Want to learn more? Check out Stand Up For Kids or Coalition for the Homeless. Or better yet, look for opportunities to reach out to the homeless in your area.
5. The right to be protected
Kids cannot protect themselves. They suffer from abuse, bullies, exploitation, and neglect, just to mention of few. They look to adults to help them, protect them, and take care of them. Laws need to be strengthen world-wide to protect children so they are no longer preyed upon. We have protection for animals, insects, and birds, so why not our children. Yes, there are agencies who respond when reports are made regarding the ill-treatment of kids, but that is not where the problem lies. It lies in the heart of the caregiver/parent. What makes someone care more for his/her self than the child? I don't have the answer, but I hope that someday every child, everywhere is protected from the bad side of life.